Focus on the Essence

by Don Boudreaux on May 2, 2009

in Immigration

Here's a letter that I sent yesterday to the Wall Street Journal:

C. T. Sciance doesn't like immigrants competing for jobs in America
(Letters, May 1).  He tells of his brother "whose job driving trucks in
California used to pay $40 per hour and is now done by $15-per-hour
illegal immigrants with fake papers and stolen identities."  I've some

What's the relevance to Mr. Sciance's economic
argument of the immigrants' legal status?  Would he not complain if
these immigrants were legal?

Second, does Mr. Sciance oppose the
development of engines with more horsepower, rigs with improved braking
and suspension systems, better highways that permit safer travel at
higher speeds, or other technological advances that enable trucking
companies today to ship any given amount of freight using fewer and
fewer drivers?  If not, why not?  Why might he oppose one method of
reducing shipping costs – a method that reduces the demand for high-wage drivers – but not other methods that do exactly the same thing?
Donald J. Boudreaux


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